The Oakland Athletics recalled corner infielder Max Muncy and outfielder Craig Gentry ahead of Tuesday's contest against the Houston Astros. Notably not selected for a September call up is second baseman Joey Wendle, who was not on the 40-man roster.
Wendle, 25, was acquired in the deal that sent Brandon Moss to the Cleveland Indians during the 2014 Winter Meetings. After an initial slow start, Wendle surged back to set the Nashville Sounds franchise record for doubles in a single season with 42, and finished the Triple-A season with a .289/.323/.442 batting line, including 10 home runs. Wendle finished the year on an 11-game hitting streak that included five doubles, a triple, and two home runs.
Wendle is perhaps limited by his lack of versatility, having played second base exclusively since 2013. The A's are trying the right-handed batting Brett Lawrie as their primary second baseman against right-handed pitching with Danny Valencia playing third base. Meanwhile, Eric Sogard remains the more versatile defender as a backup. It seems the A's don't want Wendle up at the MLB level unless it is to start, and for good.
Joey Wendle will need to be added to the 40-man roster during the offseason to protect him from this December's Rule 5 Draft. For 2016, he may be the primary call up in the event Brett Lawrie does take over second base and has to go on the disabled list at some point. Lawrie has avoided a trip to the disabled list this season despite a history of injury with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Max Muncy, 25, returns to the A's as a left-handed batting corner infielder who may have opportunities with the club next year if Oakland does not tender Ike Davis a contract. The A's face left-hander Scott Kazmir tonight, so Muncy is not in the starting lineup, but I would not be surprised to see the A's put Mark Canha in left field and Max Muncy at third base against a right-handed pitcher for at least a few starts this September.
Craig Gentry, 31, comes back after an extremely disappointing 2015. He went 3-for-43 at the major league level and only hit .256/.319/.327 with Triple-A Nashville, with just 13 doubles and five home runs in 450 plate appearances. Gentry did steal 25 bases with Nashville, so the A's may give him pinch running opportunities. Gentry is already earning $1.6 million in arbitration, so there are no savings to be had by not calling him up.